TRAVERSE CITY - Sixty-eight Red Wings-affiliated players hit the ice on Thursday at Centre Ice Arena for five days of training camp. Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman expects this camp to be the most competitive camp in a while, as the Red Wings have accumulated added depth in the offseason.
“It’s just natural competition, and it pushes you in it. It’s what you want on a team and in an organization as well,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said.
The Red Wings brought 39 forwards, 21 defensemen and eight goaltenders to Traverse City for camp.
Most notably, they brought along their 2023 free agent signees, many of them already NHL veterans, bringing experience to the young team.
July 10th, the Red Wings made a huge trade with the Ottawa Senators for forward Alex DeBrincat. They then signed him to a four-year extension. Thursday at Centre Ice, he was frequently found on a line with Larkin and 2020 4th overall NHL draft pick Lucas Raymond.
“I’ve always played with Lucas, and I think he looks great coming into this camp. I know he’s done the work he needed to this summer and I’m excited for him and as well as Alex,” Larkin said. “So, it would be pretty cool a couple of righties. So, I’d be looking at a lot of one-time options, and they both like to shoot the puck and then I like to shoot it as well. But we can all skate and think so I think it would be a fun line to play on.”
In his press conference on Tuesday, Wings GM Steve Yzerman said his team is not in a “playoffs-or-bust” situation just yet. But that doesn’t mean it’s out of the picture for the 2023 Wings, who according to Larkin, is the best team he’s been on, on paper, in years.
The Red Wings have been deprived of a playoff run for six straight seasons.
“The ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup, but every team need to do that you got to you got to get into the playoffs everyone’s fighting for the same thing, and I know the guys in our room want to want to make the playoffs I want to make the playoffs as well,” the captain said.
The Red Wings’ preseason is set to open at Little Caesars Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 26th.